diet

Colour Therapy Session – loved it!

I’m very busy at the moment working on my primary research dissertation “an exploration of people’s level of knowledge of the link between diet and disease”.  I’ve got to write 8,000 words and still have 3 other assignments to finish by the end of May. Each year we have been expected to include more critical analysis and rather than regurgitate what we’ve read, we need to look across a broad body of evidence and draw conclusions. I’ve loved being a student and am determined to finish on a high, I put hours of work into my recent ‘therapeutic approach to nutrition’ assignment and was delighted to get a mark of 80%. They say a change is as good as a rest and attending the Colour Therapy Session at Skelmersdale Community Food Initiative where I volunteer, gave me a real boost.  I didn’t know anything about colour therapy before, but what I know now is that it’s nothing to do with what colours suit me. 

Denise - Getting ready to practice kinesiology

Denise – Getting ready to practice kinesiology

Denise delivered the session and it was a delight from the start, everyone on the course was lovely and it was a really nice way to spend a couple of hours. We started by doing a Karmagraph to discover our special colour influence. That’s a calculation based on your date of birth – Mine was: “GOLD” The Counsellor

  • Which  supposedly makes me an unpaid counsellor with good listening skills and able to give good advice – perfect for a student nutritionist / dietitian!  Apparently I also have the need to visit different cultures and am knowledgeable and have natural wisdom that I’ve developed over many lifetimes! I like the sound of that!

We then moved on to Kinesiology which is a therapy used to assesses health and wellbeing. Stress resistance is used to detect any physique, chemistry, nutrition or emotional imbalances – all fascinating stuff. The group then went ‘dowsing for colours’ – difficult to explain but great fun. We talked about chakra’s and also did a bit of colouring – very therapeutic in its self.

  • I found I was attracted to Red so I need to replenish my energy and quieten my system and Green which calls for me to spend more time having fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed the session and would definitely recommend it to others. Denise is great at putting people at ease and her enthusiasm for the subject rubbed off on us all. We all left wanting to know more. Val X Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 22.39.51

Meet Hayley a mother who followed her instinct…

As a nutrition student I love chatting to people about nutrition related health issues. This week I met Hayley Anderson who delivers ‘Walking Away From Diabetes’ sessions at the Skelmersdale Community Food Initiative. Hayley a former Community Nurse, who studied at Edge Hill University, shared with me the story of her son Evan and the concerns she had about his digestive health, from an early age.

Hayley & Evan

Hayley & Evan

Hayley told me that as a baby Evan had suffered from recurring bouts of reflux, projectile vomiting and problems swallowing and how initially this was put down to possetting or common digestive problems.

Having trained as a nurse Hayley was able to question what she was being told by health professionals, and press for an endoscopy to investigate further. The endoscopy revealed that Evan was suffering from a severe case of Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) an allergic / immune condition which causes inflammation or swelling of the oesophagus which is the tube that sends food from the mouth to the stomach.

A 2013 study by Redd & Schey reported that the prevalence of EoE is said to have increased significantly over the past few years, however, it is unclear whether the prevalence is actually increasing or if health professionals are just recognising it more often.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) outline that in EoE patients, large numbers of white blood cells called eosinophils are found in the tissue of the oesophagus, where there are normally none. EoE is said to occur at any age and most commonly occurs in Caucasian males.

Evan in hospital

Evan in hospital

The symptoms of EoE are said to vary with age:

  • Babies and toddlers may refuse food or not grow properly.
  • School-age children may suffer from recurring abdominal pain, vomiting or have trouble swallowing.
  • Teenagers and adults most often have difficulty swallowing. The oesophagus can narrow to the point that food gets stuck and is called food impaction which is a medical emergency.The 2013 study referred to earlier, provides details of treatments such as the six food elimination diet which is the treatment being tried by Hayley and Evan. The diet is based on removing those foods groups with the most allergenic potential, namely, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, nuts, and seafood. This diet is less restrictive than elemental / formula diets and does not require the in-depth allergy testing necessary in specific food elimination diets. Studies in adults have shown varied results, which are possibly associated with the degree of compliance to the diet itself. There is evidence from one study of 35 patients with EoE, which found that 74 % of the patients showed improvements both clinically and histologically.
Evan lost weight when he was first born

Evan lost weight when he was first born

I was in a similar position to Hayley before my son was diagnosed coeliac disease, and like Hayley I just knew that there was something wrong and wouldn’t give up. Evan is very lucky to have Hayley as his mum, our concern is that other children may not be so lucky and be suffering unnecessarily.

For me as a Nutrition and Health student this case highlights the importance of ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and keeping up to date with new research findings.

Evan after his diagnosis

Evan now after his diagnosis of Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)

Both Hayley and I say to parents everywhere you know your babies better than anyone else, so follow your instincts.

Val

More information on EoE can be found on the following websites: http://www.apfed.org/drupal/drupal/index.php
http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/related-conditions/eosinophilic-esophagitis.aspx
http://curedfoundation.org/site/

http://www.allergyuk.org/childhood-food-allergy/eosinophilic-oesophagitis

Reference:

Redd, M. & Schey, R. (2013) Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Current Treatment, Digestive Diseases and Sciences<spacer.gif>58.3<spacer.gif>

Snack attack!

I’m working full time over the summer and I’m amazed at the amount of unhealthy eating that goes on in my office. There is food everywhere! Three sandwich vans visit the office before 10:30am and a favourite breakfast is the sausage and egg sandwich.

The breakfast favourite: Sausage and egg sarnie

The breakfast favourite: Sausage and egg 


We have well stocked vending machines, charity and emergency sweets on reception, a range of foreign sweets brought back from holidays and cakes and biscuits brought in because it’s somebody’s birthday, or leaving present. I have also noticed that on Friday’s things go in to overdrive and if you don’t have a treat you feel decidedly left out. Now I’m no angel and I do enjoy the odd packet of beef crisps and once I get a taste for chocolate I always want more, but I don’t have these snacks day in day out.

Research has found that people are eating more frequently, with time intervals between meals having reduced by an hour since 1977. This snacking is not thought to be linked to hunger and satiety but reflects ‘mindless’ or ‘recreational’ eating where people are influenced to eat by a variety of situational and external cues such as food availability, time of day and other people eating.

In my office the tannoy announcements heralding the arrival of food has to some people the same effect as the ringing bell to Pavlov’s salivating dogs.

Snacking is a habit to many people and studies confirm that the more frequently a behaviour is performed, the more likely it is to become habitual.

I work with lots of lovely people but as a nutrition student it’s not easy to watch them eating rubbish because I’m well aware of the link between diet and disease. Next year I’m planning to do primary research for my dissertation on peoples knowledge of the link between diet and disease, but in the meantime perhaps I should invent a vending machine that dispenses just water, fruit, raw veg, nuts and seeds. I wonder how that would go down in my office!
Val
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Reference:
Kong, A. et al (2011) Associations between snacking and weight loss and nutrient intake among post menopausal overweight to obese women in a dietary weight loss intervention. Journal of the American a Dietetic Association.

Aukje, A et al (2012) The power of habits: Unhealthy snacking behaviour is primarily predicted by habit strength. British Journal of Health Psychology 17, 758-770.